National Forest Rally Moonraker preview

Round 4 of the KBB Doors National Forest Rally Championship takes place Sunday May 18th, based in Midleton Park & Spa Hotel. COC, Pat Maguire and the Munster Motor Cycle & Car Club have put together a very testing event consisting of 10 stages (5...

Round 4 of the KBB Doors National Forest Rally Championship takes place Sunday May 18th, based in Midleton Park & Spa Hotel. COC, Pat Maguire and the Munster Motor Cycle & Car Club have put together a very testing event consisting of 10 stages (5 done twice) with first car away at 08:00 Sunday morning and the finish scheduled for 6pm Sunday evening.

The rally starts with a loop of 3 short stages in East Cork, ss1&4 Knockaun Wood 3.5 mls, ss 2&5 Lyre -- Kilcalf Wood 3.5 mls & Knockakeo Wood 3.5 mls. Service after ss3 is on the N22 between Killeagh & Youghal at 10:40. This loop is repeated and service after ss6 again along the main Killeagh to Youghal road at 13:10. The crews then head North towards Aguish in West Waterford, where they will tackle ss 7&9 Collator Wood 6.2 malls and ss 8&10 Scar Mountain Wood 5.5 malls, then a 20 min service at an industrial yard on the R671 near Aguish before the last 2 stages at 15:20.

Series leaders John McCarthy/ Dan Maguire (Impress 555) are on home ground and with number 1 on their door are expected to set the pace, looking at their results to date they should be hard to beat, with a perfect score so far, 3 wins on the first 3 rounds. Next up Eddie Kinirons/ Greg Shinnors (Celica GT4) are so close to their first win, with 3 seconds on the first 3 rounds and only 6 points behind McCarthy, Eddie will push to the limit as the battle for championship honours heats up. Kevin O'Kane/ Francis Regan (Impreza 555) are at 3 and holding 3rd overall in the championship so far, only 4 points behind Kinirons and setting some fastest times recently could should everyone a clean pair of heels. John Donnelly is at 4 and the first of the Escort WRC's on the road. There is talk of some late entries from Dominic McNeill (Escort WRC) and Dermot Kelly (Escort WRC) if their cars are ready, both these men will certainly attack to take victory from McCarthy on his home patch.

Killavullen's John Shanahan is at 6, leading Gp N in his Impreza and getting quicker each day may even challenge for overall honours. At 7 James Murphy/ Con Mulcahy (Escort Cosworth) just need a clean run to be on the pace. Championship sponsors Brian McCloskey/ Damian Duffin (Escort WRC) at 8 make the trip from Derry. Brian has set some fastest times lately as he adjusts to his WRC and will push for a place on the podium. John McGaffin is out in the ex McRae Legacy at 9 followed by Kevin Lynch/ Martin McNicholl in the pristine Impreza WRC P2000.

Paul Staunton/ Bruce Burges are the leading 2WD entry at 11 in the rapid mk2. He will be pushed hard all the way by locals like Ray Benskin/ Peadar Walsh, Allen Tracey/ Michael Coakley, Ollie Williams/ Mark Bowes. Other quick mk2 men are the likes of Brian Lawlor, John Reid, Jason Roche & Seamus Anderson. Class 2 is the one to watch as most of the pace setters are close to home with their highly tuned 16V mk2's including the likes of Billy O Connell, Tommy Kiely & Alan Mulcahy (starlet), but you can always count on Mick Nevin to be there or there abouts with his faithful pushrod. Matt Shinnors has decided to follow the crowd, after 3 non finishes now fitting a Toyota 16V unit to his mk2 should be up there in contension.

Gus Kearney leads class 6 in the yellow 206 but could face stiff opposition from local crew and winter cup series runner up Shane McCarthy also in a 206. Graham Quinn, Jason Kelly, Pete McCullagh and many more young lads are out in 106 cup cars, these pocket rockets could feature well up there on the short tricky stages.

The first crews are due back at the ramp outside the Midleton Park & Spa Hotel at 6 pm and who ever gets to spray the bubbly will have fought hard and sure is to be a worthy winner. Results should be up for 7:30pm and prize giving in the hotel soon after.

-www.irish-rallying.com

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About this article
Series Other rally
Drivers James Murphy , Francis Regan , John McCarthy
Teams Williams